Schools Greater Gardner MA Local News

Schools Around Greater Gardner MA

  • Elm St. School (10/5/2022)
    Elm St. Fire 1
    Gardner Fire Department at Elm St. School

    Small Electrical Fire at Elm Street School in Gardner MA

    From the Gardner Fire Department: “10/5/22 07:07 -1st Alarm Box 543 – 160 Elm St. Elm Street School 1st alarm struck for a small electrical fire in an outside wall.”

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    GFD at Elm St. School
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    GFD at Elm St. School
  • Community Center Announcement (10/4/2022)
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    Gardner Mayor Nicholson Makes Announcement
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    Waterford Plan CLICK IMAGE for larger view
    Waterford Street School Gardner MA
    Waterford Street School Gardner MA

    Gardner MA Michael Nicholson Announces Waterford Street School Redevelopment

    Gardner will have a Community Center, pending City Council approval. At a public announcement on October 3, 2022, Mayor Nicholson stated Waterford would become a Community Center. Press Release pdf, CLICK HERE. State Representative Jonathan Zlotnik said they would ‘fill the space in a symbiotic way. He is a former student and son of a former teacher. Center would include the Senior Center, Community Action Committee, Growing Places, and GAAMHA Inc. Mike Ellis, Director of the Senior Center said he is “excited about the project.” CAC Director Julie Meehan said it would allow their programs to be centrally located. Amy Yeagle, the Executive Director of Growing Places would retrofit the school kitchen and create a processing center to help distribute food to the needy. Tracy Hutchinson, President and CEO of GAAHMA stated, “We were so excited about partnering at Waterford Street School. We’ll be able to double to triple people we currently serve.”Shawn Hayden, VP at GAAMHA says that their existing facility on Coleman Street could then be used to expand outpatient behavioral and mental health services. “Looking to provide up to 100 new jobs in the next 2 years.” City Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas thanked Representative Zlotnik and the community partners. “A great utilization of the space for the City.” Watch on YouTube or listen to the announcement and the various speakers on any device. Click Play.

    Waterford Announcement
  • Teachers’ Day (10/3/2022)
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    World Teachers’ Day

    When you see a teacher in Greater Gardner MA this week, why not say, “Thank you for sharing your knowledge.”

    World Teachers Day Celebrated in Gardner MA on Wednesday October 5, 2022

    The origin of World Teachers Day dates back to 1966, when UNESCO/ILO made a recommendation concerning the status of teachers. The day was established in 1994 aiming to focus on “appreciating, assessing, and improving the educators of the world”

    We honor the teachers in the Greater Gardner MA area who do so much to educate our young people from Pre-school, Kindergarten, Elementary School, Middle School, High School, and College. Part of the UNESCO recommendation is that teacher respect should be a part of the natural order of things.

  • Kamuda Go Forward (10/2/2022)
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    Carolyn Kamuda Gardner MA
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    Kamuda Gallery Gardner MA

    Complete Go Forward with Gardner page, CLICK HERE.

    Go Forward with Gardner MA Series, We Interview Carolyn Kamuda

    As a Gardner icon, Carolyn Kamuda is unique. She has been a Real Estate Broker for decades, has an art gallery, projects a love for the arts and culture, and showcases a deep toolbox of common sense. The interview puts the positives of Gardner’s future in an analytical light with Kamuda’s insight providing valuable considerations for Gardner City Council, the Mayor, and businesses coming to the City. According to Kamuda, Gardner’s best asset of all is ‘its people.”

    Watch the embedded YouTube video or Click Play to play the AUDIO in any device.

    Go Forward with Gardner – Carolyn Kamuda
    AUDIO – Interview with Carolyn Kamuda
  • STEM Grant (9/29/2022)
    STEM Grant
    STEM Grant

    Gardner MA Gets Share of $14.6 million in Workforce Development and STEM Grants

    The State of Massachusetts announced the list of recipients of the Workforce Development Capital Grants and the STEM Equipment and Teacher Professional Development Grants. Gardner Public Schools is receiving $80,528 to be used by GHS and GMS and is the only community in the Greater Gardner area to receive a grant from this round of the program. We have the full list, CLICK HERE

  • Community Center (9/29/2022)
    Gardner Community Center
    Gardner Community Center
    Waterford Street School Gardner MA 8
    Site of new Community Center Gardner MA

    Gardner Community Center Moves Closer to Reality in Gardner MA

    From a Press Release from Gardner City Hall, we learned that “Gardner Mayor Mike Nicholson, City Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas, State Representative Jonathan Zlotnik, and the leaders of community organizations will meet at the front doors of Waterford Street School to announce the future plans for the building on MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2022, at 10:00am. The City will be converting the school into a new Community Center to house different service organizations that currently serve the City’s residents. This new move will allow all organizations to grow their services they provide to the City and collaborate in new ways among each other.”

    The building became available because students who would have gone there this year are going to the new Gardner Elementary School. Approval of the Gardner City Council is still required.

    Complete Press Release, CLICK HERE

  • School Committee (9/29/2022)
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    School Committee 9-12-22

    School Committee Meeting Mixed Bag of Enthusiasm for School Opening and Mystery of What’s “in the Packet

    In a meeting released to the public more then 2 weeks after it occurred, the Gardner School Committee officially approved the previously released amended School Calendar, elected Robert Swartz as delegate to the Association of School Committees, stated it hoped a student member would be there for the next meeting, and focused on the new Gardner Elementary School with Superintendent Pellegrino and members expressing thanks.

    However, Gardner Magazine has reached out to Mayor Nicholson as to why the posted School Committee Agendas do not contain the complete packets as the City Council does in practice. Many references were made to “in the packet” during the meeting, leaving viewers and listeners confused by the mystery. We were assured a few months back by Superintendent Pellegrino that the agenda would contain the full packet come fall, but this has not occurred. Watch the meeting on our School Committee page or listen here on any device. CLICK play.

    School Committee 9-12-22

    View Meeting Agenda, CLICK HERE

  • GHS Construction (9/28/2022)
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    Concession Stand Construction Gardner High School

    Chips, Soda, and Convenient Potty on Their Way to Gardner MA.

    Mayor Nicholson posted a photo and stated, “The construction of the concession stand and bathroom building at Watkins Field at Gardner High School has begun. “

  • Higher Bird Ed (9/27/2022)
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    Birds at Mount Wachusett Community College

    Birds Seek Higher Education at the Mount in Gardner MA

    Previously we reported on Wild Turkeys at the New Gardner Elementary School. See article. —Apparently this flock had higher aspirations.

  • Fields of Play (9/27/2022)
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    Gardner MA High School Athletic Field
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    Gardner High School Athletics 9-26-22

    As Flag Waves, Gardner MA High School Practices in Full Swing

    Part of the experience at Gardner High School is Athletics. Sports is a way to expel energy and stay healthy. According to Gardner Public Schools, “Athletics have always been an important part of education. Having real-life opportunities to teach collaboration, nurture the competitive spirit, and instill a deep-seated work ethic is essential in success on the field and in school. Here in Gardner, we strive to ensure that our student-athletes earn these essential skills for the future in a friendly environment that fosters self-esteem and encourages respect. “

    Dan Forte is the Athletic Director and has this message, “At Gardner Public Schools, we value a commitment to hard work, integrity, and personal growth in our athletic programs. As the A.D., I am inspired by watching our players and coaches push each other to new achievements, both on and off the field.  My commitment is to ensure that all of our student-athletes are challenged by the opportunity to excel in their sports, as well as in their classrooms and community.  Go Wildcats! “. For more information about Athletics at Gardner Public Schools, CLICK HERE.

  • Turkeys at GES (9/26/2022)
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    Wild Turkeys at Gardner Elementary School 9-26-22

    Very comfortable group of Wild Turkeys infiltrates Gardner Elementary in Gardner MA

    Word might be spreading even through the Animal Kingdom of the New Gardner Elementary School. We asked the following question of the Mayor’s office: “What is the GES official position on accepting Turkeys in the classroom?”

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    Turkeys at Gardner Elementary School

    Obviously a sign for drop off, but the turkeys didn’t know that. Some were waiting for Preschool at left and the others at right probably for a bus or van. Gardner may be a City, but this setting is beautiful.

  • Staff at Gardner Elementary (9/19/2022)
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    Principal Earl Martin from recent GES Building Committee Meeting

    GARDNER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 278 Pearl Street Gardner, MA 01440, Phone: (978) 991-0900, Fax: (978) 300-8818 EARL MARTIN Principal Phone: (978) 991-0900, ext. 32125, MELISSA HENRY Assistant Principal Phone: (978) 991-0900, ext. 32131, BROOKE TENNEY Assistant Principal Phone: (978) 991-0900, ext. 32208, VIRGINIA JEPSON Director of Early Childhood Education Phone: (978) 991-0900, ext. 33121, SUE ECKLUND Special Education Administrator Phone: (978) 991-0900, ext. 33131, SHARON SARCINELLI Special Education Administrator Phone: (978) 991-0900, ext. 32121 Website for more information, CLICK HERE.

    Principal Earl Martin Asks Questions and Answers Questions at GES Building Committee Meeting

    Gardner Elementary School Principal Earl Martin participated as the Building Committee met on September 7, 2022, just 5 days before the new Gardner Elementary School opened on September 12th. It’s interesting to hear what issues they were concerned about prior to the start of school, and what issues will likely be addressed later. October 18th is the next meeting of this Committee. Watch the 9-7-22 meeting on YouTube or listen on any device by clicking Play.

    GES Building Committee September 7, 2022

    Members include: Mayor Michael J. Nicholson, Jennifer Dymek, April Yu, Robert Swartz, Jennifer Pelavin. Mark Pellegrino who served as Chairman, Wayne Anderson, David Fredette, Earl Martin, Catherine Goguen, Ronald Cormier, Robert Hankinson, Heidi Jandris, Christina Thomas, Ashley Chicoine, Joyce West, and Stephen Hemman – Special Assistant to Superintendent who served as clerk.

  • Community Center? (9/19/2022)
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    Council on Aging September 12, 2022
    Gardner Community Center
    Gardner Community Center (under consideration)

    News of possible Gardner MA Community Center shared at Council on Aging Meeting

    At the Gardner Council on Aging Meeting of 9-12-22, Gardner MA Mayor Nicholson and State Representative Zlotnik spoke about the possibility of Waterford Street School becoming a Community Center for Gardner Residents as well as a place to relocate a much roomier Senior Center.

    View the entire meeting on YouTube, CLICK HERE, or listen on any device by clicking Play.

    Council on Aging September 12, 2022
  • Mayor’s Update 9-16-22 (9/17/2022)
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    Mayor’s Update 9-16-22

    Watch the Mayor’s Updates on the City of Gardner’s YouTube page or on our Mayor’s Update page, CLICK HERE. Or, listen on any device. CLICK Play.

    Mayor’s Update September 16, 2022

    Mayor Nicholson reminded the public that the Gardner City Council will meet on Monday, September 19th. Informal Meeting 6:30pm re the Gardner Fire Department Audit. Agenda and Packet CLICK HERE. Regular Meeting at 7:30pm. Agenda and Packet, CLICK HERE.

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    Rear of City Hall Gardner MA

    Enthusiastic Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson speaks from Gardner Elementary School library.

    In a lengthy, but fast-moving, exciting, informative, and interesting update, Mayor Nicholson spoke first about the Gardner Elementary School. He spoke about initial pickup issues. The Mayor also explained the safety protocols in place to protect students stating, “It’s a very safe school. A very effective 21st Century environment.”

    The Mayor thanked Tender Heart Veterinary Care and Dr. Wood for offering to provide free checkups for K9 Rocky of the Gardner PD.

    Nicholson explained that due in part to watering restrictions being eliminated, flower boxes are being deployed in Downtown and South Gardner. Sponsorships through mid-November are $75.

    The Mayor spoke of various milestones, dates, and events including: SK Pierce Mansion had their ribbon cutting after 12 years of renovations and is now open to public tours. Monday, 9-19 is adult care day. Edward Jones Ribbon Cutting is 9-21. On September 23rd, Prevention month will be celebrated at Gardner City Hall. The Fabulous Fall Festival and Octoberfest is Saturday, September 24th with the Chair Luge back this year as well.

    2nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

    Tuesday, September 20, 2022 will be a celebration at City Hall with live Mariachi music this year.

    Mayor’s Update 9-16-22
  • GES Open (9/12/2022)
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    Gardner Elementary September 12, 2022

    Gardner’s new Elementary School is now filled with students, ready to learn. Click on any image for larger view, also view complete Gallery.

    Gardner Elementary Opens to Enthusiastic Students, Staff, and Faculty

    On the day before the opening, Gardner Public Schools posted, “Are you ready?! We are! The last few weeks have seen construction, inspections, moving, cleaning, planning, furniture building; it’s been a nerve-wracking time for our team, but it will all be worth it tomorrow. Will there still be dirt and construction equipment? Yes. But will there be smiling students and teachers as well? Also yes, and we couldn’t be more excited. As an aside, thank you to everyone on our team who has worked overtime, going above and beyond to get this done. We wouldn’t be here without your passion and willingness to pitch in.”

    View the complete Image Gallery, CLICK HERE

    Gardner Elementary School Classroom
    GES Classroom
    Gardner Elementary School Murals
    GES Murals
    Gardner Elementary Kindergarten
    GES Kindergarten
    Gardner Elementary Stairs
    GES Stairs
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    Buses at Gardner Elementary School September 12, 2022

    From Nothing to a Beautiful School in 14 months!

    Gardner Elementary June 2021 Nicholson Kazinskas
    Mayor Nicholson and Council President Kazinskas June 2021
    Gardner Elementary September 2022 Nicholson Kazinskas
    Mayor Nicholson and Council President Kazinskas 9-12-22
  • You’ve Got This (9/9/2022)

    Gardner Magazine Publishes Gardner Elementary – You’ve Got This VideoWATCH IT!

    Sure, there’s construction and maybe even just a few challenges to go. But, You Got This Gardner! Enjoy the song in our new video, play out of the page or CLICK HERE for full screen.

  • School Starts (9/9/2022)
    Gardner Elementary School Sign
    Gardner Elementary School sign Gardner MA

    Gardner MA Elementary School Students return Monday, September 12th

    Grades 1 to 4 are slated to start Monday September 12, 2022. Kindergarten starts September 15th and Preschool starts September 19th.

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    Gardner Elementary 9-9-22

    School was originally slated to start in August, but was delayed due to construction delays. Site construction is still ongoing. As school starts, work will done in off hours.

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    Closeup Gardner Elementary 9-9-22
  • Two Worlds (8/31/2022)
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    Two Worlds – Staff parking at Gardner Elementary

    Two Worlds Operating Simultaneously at new Gardner Elementary School

    While construction continues at the Gardner Elementary School, staff development and classroom preparation is underway for the School Staff including teachers.

    . The City of Gardner spared no expense as you can see to direct staff to the appropriate parking lot, wisely using a leftover piece of wood and paint from somewhere. It seems somebody has to go to the bathroom outside as there’s a huge line of 11 outhouses. Electric vehicles are welcome with dedicated charging stations provided. All the photos, CLICK HERE.


  • Finances 8-31-22 (8/31/2022)
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    Gardner Finance Committee 8-31-22
    Prospect St. School Gardner MA
    Propect St. School 8-31-22
    School St. School Gardner MA
    School St. School 8-31-22

    Gardner MA Finance Committee Discusses Donations, Selling Schools, and Reviewing Fire Department Audit

    The Gardner Finance Committee met on August 31, 2022. Subjects discussed including the acceptance of donations for K9 Rocky and for the Gardner Animal Shelter, the Mayor’s request to sell the Prospect Street School and School Street School as they are not being used by the City and are frequent items of issue for the Police Department, and the recently completed Fire Department Audit.

    Mayor Nicholson would like the City to put up the Prospect Street School for sale well under the $295,000 appraised value due to the substantial cost a purchaser would have in converting the building in to something other than a school. He also stated that the School Street school is in disrepair and a hazard and there are already various people interested in purchasing the building.

    Council President Kazinskas suggested that the Gardner City Council hold an informal meeting at 6:30pm prior to its second meeting in September to allow for a presentation on the audit.

    Watch this meeting on YouTube or listen to it right here on any device. Just click Play.

    Gardner MA Finance Committee 8-31-22
  • Moving In (8/29/2022)
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    Moving In

    Gardner MA Teachers Happy to Move in to NEW Gardner Elementary School on August 29, 2022

    Gardner Public Schools released the Moving photos on Social Media, showing an enthusiastic group of educators Movin’ on in. Elementary School students return on September 12th with Kindergarteners starting on September 15th. CLICK on any image for a larger view. We have another article on Teachers’ Convocation.

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    The New Gardner Elementary School
    Teachers Outside Gardner Elementary 8 29 22
    Outside Gardner Elementary
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    Inside Gardner Elementary
    Teachers Outside Gardner Elementary 8 29 22 Stop Sign
    Outside Gardner Elementary
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    Proud of New School
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    Which is first?
    Teachers Inside Gardner Elementary 8 29 22 High Fives
    Smiling with High Fives
    Teachers Inside Gardner Elementary 8 29 22
    Posing after Unpacking
  • Teachers (8/29/2022)
    Convocation Gardner MA Teachers
    Convocation Teachers
    Teachers Meeting
    Teachers Meeting
    Go Wildcats
    Convocation August 29, 2022 with this statement on the screen “The Hardest working district!”

    Gardner MA School District Holds Convocation for Teachers 8-29-22

    Teachers were welcomed back for the 2022/2023 School Year. According to the Gardner Superintendent’s Office, teachers working at the new Gardner Elementary School have seen their classrooms and are anticipating various professional development days to be held at the new school. Elementary School students return on September 12th with Kindergardeners starting on September 15th. Other students in the District return on Tuesday, September 6th. Exception is Holy Family Academy – started August 29th. Complete projected calendar, CLICK HERE. Projected Bus Routes, CLICK HERE.

    Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson appeared pleased to attend releasing this statement, “Great day this morning welcoming the Gardner Public Schools Teachers and Staff back at the annual faculty convocation this morning and seeing people in Gardner Elementary School for the first time before going to Annunciation Parish Gardner Massachusetts to join the Holy Family Academy MA community for their first day of school today! Wishing all of our students, teachers, and families across the City a great new school year!”

    Photo Gallery: The “Wow Factor” of the New Gardner Elementary School. CLICK HERE

  • Photos Update (8/27/2022)
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    Gardner Elementary August 27, 2022

    The “Wow Factor” – Gardner MA New Elementary School

    With most of the paving and construction completed, the school is a thing of beauty. We present a complete Gallery from 8-27-22 CLICK HERE

  • High School (8/27/2022)
    Gardner High School from space
    Gardner High School from Satellite
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    Gardner High School
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    Gardner High School Athletic Fields Improved in 2022
    Gardner High School Sports

    Gardner MA High School Still Among Most Beautiful

    With the focus on the new Gardner Elementary School, it’s easy to forget just how wonderful the Gardner High School complex is. The design of the building is stunning when viewed from high resolution satellite as shown in this article.

    However, beneath the surface is a story even more incredible: the emergence of a truly great educational atmosphere fueled by savvy curriculum updates over the last couple of years. Gardner High School students have so many options whether they are on a pure academic path or take an Innovative Pathway.

    Evidence of Great School System is Overwhelming

    Some of our articles to check out: Key dates for the upcoming Wildcats Season, CLICK HERE. The projected 2022-2023 School Calendar, CLICK HERE. Educators in Gardner tackling the Education Puzzle, CLICK HERE. Article on School Committee June meeting at which Superintendent Pellegrino received substantial praise. CLICK HERE. Even the School Resource officer was honored, CLICK HERE. At the Gardner City Council meeting on June 6, 2022, the music program received a $100,000 boost. CLICK HERE. The School Budget Session in June revealed “an efficiently-run system.” CLICK HERE. There was tremendous pride in the graduating class of 2021, CLICK HERE. We have proof even sports has its act together as Fall Sports Registration was announced in May of 2022, CLICK HERE. Gardner High had pride in its music program with a Spring Concert, CLICK HERE. Gardner announced in the Spring that it was improving athletic fields, CLICK HERE. Gardner High School now even makes the souvenir chairs formerly made elsewhere, CLICK HERE. Athletics is strong at Gardner High. In January 2022, it was announced that the Gardner MA Varsity Cheerleading Team got 5th place at the National Competition. CLICK HERE.

    Great High School Education

    Gardner MA is destined to continue improvement upon its great high school education formula. Here is the 83 page Program of Studies for 2022-2023 in pdf format, CLICK HERE History/Social Science, CLICK HERE. Mathematics, CLICK HERE Arts Curriculum, CLICK HERE. FYI: Gardner does not allow political views in teaching stating in its guide, “The teachers’ right to introduce controversial issues in classroom presentations does not include the right of advocacy.” Complete guide, CLICK HERE. Gardner High School has other bases covered as well including a Full Technology policy, CLICK HERE. And a complete guide for professional practices, CLICK HERE. The Gardner School District does not allow complacency either and has a Professional Development Plan, CLICK HERE.

    Positive Gardner High School Future


    Gardner MA Public Schools, including Gardner High School, are getting higher ratings all the time. You could say that just like construction going on in all parts of the Chair City, education in Gardner has been revitalized and its best years are yet to come.

    Yes, the new Gardner Elementary School is exciting and wonderful. Let’s not forget just how wonderful Gardner High School is and how committed the Gardner School District is to delivering an excellent High School educational experience. For more on Gardner Public Schools anytime, visit the official website, CLICK HERE.

  • GES Update 8-26-22 (8/26/2022)
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    GES Update 8-26-22
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    Gardner Elementary School 8-26-22

    “We turn the school over in 1-2 weeks” says Construction Super at New Gardner MA Elementary School -8-29-22 Update – and he was wrong!

    UPDATE: August 29, 2022: Construction Supervisor gave us bogus information as teachers were moving in on August 29, 2022.

    The following information in our original story turned out to be incorrect: “It’s going to be close as the NEW Gardner Elementary School will get formally turned over to the School District just days before students are projected to start attendance. The construction company has allowed the District to move in some things ahead of time so starting things up may be a marathon, but should still be possible.”

    Taking photos was complicated on August 26, 2022 as paving was underway at the school. There was a sign at the High School entrance saying to use the Pearl Street entrance. When we went there, we were redirected back to High School entrance and took photos of the various employee vehicles parked along the road, paving occurring around the new school, all the way to the Pearl Street entrance.

    Gardner Public Schools has released a draft of bus routes (subject to change) CLICK HERE.

    We wrote a previous article showcasing the Zippy construction taking place CLICK HERE

    Use Pearl Entrance sign closeup 1
    GES Update 8-26-22 High School Entrance
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    GES Update 8-26-22 Paving at Pearl Entrance
  • School Bus Routes (8/20/2022)
    It’s important to watch out for students. CLICK IMAGE for larger view.

    Gardner MA Public Schools Releases Draft of Bus Routes

    The lists are based on the most current information and are subject to change. CLICK HERE.

    The graphic at illustrates the importance of watching out for students who are getting on or getting off School buses.

  • Weekly Update 8-19-22 (8/19/2022)

    Gardner Magazine Updates City – Mayor Without Update Due to Staffing

    Note: Last week’s Mayor’s Update has received 73 views on YouTube and as of yesterday 2,354 listens on Gardner Magazine.   However, our offer to record an AUDIO update was not accepted.   So we’ll provide one instead. Click Play.

    Chair City Update August 19, 2022

    Chair City Update August 19, 2022

    Paving Week of August 22nd

    Parker Street and Connors Street will be paved on Monday August 22, 2022 beginning at 4am.  Parker Street will be paved from Lafayette Square to Main Street.  Connors Street will be paved from City Hall Avenue to Parker Street.  This is the final coat of pavement needed for these streets as part of the Downtown Infrastructure Improvement Project.

    Covid 19 Vaccine

    Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic

    On Wednesday, August 24th, there will be a Covid 19 Vaccine Clinic from 3pm to 6pm at the Bethany Baptist Church, 72 Ryan Street, Gardner.   All doses of the 3 different brands of Vaccine will be available.  Ages 5 and over are welcome via walk-in, but registration is encouraged.    Please bring vaccine card and health insurance card if  you have one.

    Weekend Events

    On Saturday August 20th, the Elvis Tribute Band, Fellowship of the King will play at Monument Park at the 45th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. Concert begins at 5pm. See article

    On Sunday August 21st, Gardner Massachusetts churches are joining forces for a Community Worship Sunday starting at 10am at Monument Park, featuring music, message, food, and fun. All are welcome. See article.

    On Sunday August 21st, The P.A.C.C. at 171 Kendall Pond Road West in Gardner is holding a Polish Drive-Thru on Sunday August 21, 2022 from 11am to 3pm. See article

    On Sunday, August 21st, the Tenth Annual Ride of Your Life takes place at Heywood Hospital, 242 Green Street, Gardner.  Riders and passengers pay a registration fee and take a 3 hour ride through North Central Massachusetts with stops at area motorcycle shops.   Proceeds benefit suicide prevention efforts in the North Central and North Quabbin regions.  See article


    Gardner Has a New Police Chief

    Lieutenant Eric McAvene is officially Chief McAvene on Monday August 22nd. Having served the past two decades on the Gardner force, he was appointed by Mayor Nicholson and accepted the position. Formal City Council confirmation to follow. See article

    Construction in the Chair City


    Gardner Elementary: The week of August 22, 2022 will be the 4th extended week of construction at the New Gardner Elementary School. Mayor Nicholson has advised the main goal is to get an occupancy permit for the building so school can start even if the grounds still need some work. Meanwhile, Gardner Public Schools has released its projected School Calendar reflecting the delayed start of school. See article

    Candor Realty continues work on 25 Main Street, recently completing some badly needed roof repairs. The company has also stated it is interested in purchasing additional properties in Gardner.

    Work also continues at 42 to 52 Parker Street. The walls have gone up this week following Gardner Planning Board approval of their complete plan for the building.

    Community Health Connections has made significant progress on their new Health Center building off Route 68 near Walmart.

    The Drought

    Enforcement with fines and possible water shut-offs for violators of the outdoor water use ban will begin after a Code Red call reminding people of the drought.


    Pleasant Street open again

    Following meetings with staff, community leaders, and business owners, a decision was made to once again open up Pleasant Street. For just under two months, the street was closed off in order to create a plaza with outdoor seating. The idea had been proposed for years, but never tried. A comment from Mayor Nicholson in our article.

    Gardner High Athletics

    Gardner High Athletics has announced key dates for the upcoming fall season. There are youth nights, alumni nights, recreation nights, senior nights, and there will be a game on Thanksgiving morning against Quabbin. See article.


  • Questions Answered 8-17-22 (8/18/2022)

    Gardner MA Mayor Nicholson Answers Questions on Pending Matters in the Chair City


    New Gardner MA Elementary School

    Projected School Calendar 22/23

    Question: “School Construction is now in week 3 of the contemplated “two more weeks.”    How much longer realistically?   And when does the school have to be done to be in line with the already contemplated delay?”

    Mayor Nicholson, “The two weeks was the delay for the start of the school year (if I am understanding your question correctly). In order to get people into the school building, the working in the building would have to be completed about a week before teachers move in, which for the Elementary School would be on September 6th. The exterior work, such as landscaping and final playground work, will likely be done the week or two after school starts. For now our priority is to finish the items necessary for the school to receive its temporary occupancy certificate so that we can begin school in the building, even if the grounds need a little work still at that point.”


    Question: “In light of the drought, does the City of Gardner intend to enforce the local ordinance which provides potential penalties and possible water shutoff for offenders?”

    Mayor Nicholson, “We are meeting on this to discuss how best to move forward with the City’s DPW Director and City Engineer as well as representatives from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. A Code-Red call reminding people of the drought will likely go out this week as a final reminder to people of the current critical drought status, and then enforcement will begin if people are still not abiding by the restrictions.”


    Question: “What led to the sudden shutdown of Pleasant Plaza without notice to the public? To date, nothing mentioned on City of Gardner website.”

    Mayor Nicholson: “We (Colin, Jess DeRoy, Trevor Beauregard, Roland Jean, and myself) met again with the business owners and Parker House of Pizza, Turks Barbershop, and Priscilla’s voiced concerns over the impacts of the plaza on their business. Taco Rey and Prestige Barbershop, all had positives, and Hope and Vibe Studios had mixed feelings on it. With the paving of Parker Street next week and the concerns that were taken into account, we opened the road up to ensure we were supporting the business community as much as possible for the last month of the summer with construction coming back to the area soon.”

  • Upcoming Wildcats Season (8/17/2022)
    Gardner MA Wildcats Schedule

    Gardner MA Athletics Releases Key Dates

    From Gardner Wildcat Athletics, “Excited to announce some key dates for our upcoming fall season! While there is more fun stuff to come in addition to this list, we wanted to give everyone a chance to mark their calendars! Some quick notes:

    * Youth nights – Chair City Lions (football/cheer) and Chair City Soccer (Soccer) will partner with our varsity programs to recognize our youngest athletes on these nights. CHAIR City LIONS and Chair City Soccer will send out communication soon!

    * Alumni nights – Be on the lookout for information regarding our alumni events; we are looking to recognize alumni from a few of our sports who haven’t had an event like this in the past.

    * Recreation nightsCity of Gardner Recreation summer camp kids who wear their camp shirts on these nights will get in for free, and receive a free gift at the game.

    * Senior nights – join us as we honor our senior athletes!

    * Thanksgiving is back on Thanksgiving morning! Join us in the morning as we take on Quabbin to close out our season. This will also be senior day for our Football players and Cheerleaders.”


  • School Calendar (8/16/2022)
    Projected 2022-2023 Gardner Public Schools Calendar – CLICK IMAGE for larger view

    Gardner MA Public Schools Releases Projected 2022-2023 Calendar

    Gardner Public Schools releases projected 2022-2023 School Calendar reflecting delays, CLICK HERE

  • Zippy Pace (8/15/2022)

    New Gardner MA Elementary School Construction at Zippy Pace

    New Gardner MA Elementary School
    New Gardner Elementary School on August 15, 2022
    New Gardner MA Elementary School
    New Gardner MA Elementary School

    Meanwhile, Gardner Public Schools released some photos and this statement, “A few more photos from today, as the moving starts! These truly show how many different types of work are going on all at once.”

    Moving Truck

    School District Moving In as Construction Completes at new Gardner MA Elementary School.

    Orange Containers
  • Ongoing Construction (8/13/2022)
    Construction entrance new Gardner Elementary School
    Construction Entrance near High School
    Pearl Street Construction Entrance

    Gardner MA NEW Gardner Elementary School Construction Continues – Deadline Missed

    There’s no official word on whether the continued construction delay will further delay the opening of Gardner Public Schools, but Gardner Mayor Nicholson on Saturday August 13, 2022 was still quoting the previously stated timeline. In an email to the Gardner School Committee on August 1, 2022,. SEE ARTICLE. , Gardner Superintendent of Schools Mark Pellegrino stated that Bacon Construction “will need two more weeks to finish the project. I have been assured that it will ONLY BE TWO WEEKS.” Email PDF That assurance was in a scheduled check-in meeting on Friday July 29th. With the construction signs still up at the entrances, the work continues in what will now be week 3.

    A closeup photo taken with a zoom lens shows an active construction site still exists at the new Gardner Elementary School. According to the Superintendent’s email to the School Committee on 8/1/22, ”  1. The elementary school will be delayed two weeks (8 school days) with a new start date of 9/15 for grades 1-4, 9/15 for kindergarten, and 9/19 for preschool. (All of these dates are two weeks later.  I will be requesting a waiver for 4 of the 8 days. 2. The middle school, high school and Gardner Academy will only be starting one week late (9/6).” In letter to parents, start date for grade 1-4 is 9/12. See letter.

    It is unclear what duration of further construction delay it will take to precipitate a further delay in school start times. Two storage containers sit outside the construction entrance. Pearl Street has been paved and lined and awaits the traffic of school opening.

    storage containers near new Gardner Elementary School
    Storage Containers at Construction Entrance to new Gardner Elementary School

    Exterior Photo Gallery of School 8/10/22. CLICK HERE.

    Paving near Gardner Elementary School entrance, Pearl Street, Gardner
  • Fast pace School (8/10/2022)

    Construction at NEW Gardner MA Elementary School continuing at fast pace with many workers, photos reveal – Complete Gallery, CLICK HERE.

    New Gardner Elementary School August 10, 2022
  • New School Update (8/9/2022)

    Construction Continues on New Gardner MA Elementary School

    School has been delayed for the 2022 School Year and all are hoping no more delays are required. Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson made a number of photos of the interior of the new school available and we show them on this page. CLICK HERE.

  • School Puzzle (8/5/2022)

    Gardner MA Successfully Tackling Education Puzzle in Gardner Public Schools

    Employees of the Gardner School District have received praise from Administrators, Public Officials, and School Committee members for their work during the pandemic. However, much of the superior work done to improve the learning experience in Gardner Public Schools has gone unreported.

    Gardner MA Public School Ratings should now be listed as Good to Excellent. Gardner has significantly updated its curriculum in the last couple of years or so for every grade level from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Measurable Statistics show that Gardner Public Schools are increasingly becoming EDOCs, (Education Destinations of Choice). Gardner Superintendent Mark Pellegrino will be interviewing with us soon to go over details of Gardner successes.

    Gardner publishes its Curriculum Guide for each grade and exceeds State of MA requirements. Gardner has a system in place for ongoing Curriculum review. It even has a Social/Emotional Learning Framework. There’s a renewed focus on the Arts. Student Indoctrination is specifically prohibited as students are taught how to think, but not what to think. And there’s a responsible technology policy in place for students, teachers, and staff. For our complete article on Gardner Public Schools, please CLICK HERE.

    Summer Vacation has been extended as the opening of the new Gardner Elementary School has been delayed. For the complete article, CLICK HERE.


  • Music Job (8/4/2022)

    Gardner MA Has Opening for Dream Job

    As of August 4, 2022, Gardner needs a Gardner Middle School Band Director and a Marching Percussion Instructor at Gardner High School.  Doesn’t have to be the same person.    The Middle School Band Director is a full teacher position.  The High School Percussion Instructor is part-time throughout the marching band season.

    The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work in one of the Commonwealth’s most wonderful School Districts – The Chair City.  

    These are highly prestigious jobs in this sought-after School District so the positions are expected to be filled rapidly. Here is a link to the General Employment Application. CLICK HERE.

    The City of Gardner MA has other positions available. For more information, CLICK HERE – For private sector jobs available within 5 miles of Gardner MA and listed on Indeed, CLICK HERE


  • Departments Interview (8/3/2022)
    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson
    Citizen Concerns and Departments – Interview 8-3-22

    City of Gardner Department Links:

    Departments A to G, CLICK HERE

    Departments H to Z CLICK HERE.

    City Transparency, CLICK HERE

    City of Gardner website, CLICK HERE

    City of Gardner Facebook, CLICK HERE.

    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Interviewed on Citizen Concerns and City Departments

    On August 3, 2022, Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson answered our questions regarding Citizen Concerns and the Interaction of City Departments with Community Members.   We present the AUDIO of the complete interview in mp3 format. Listen on any device.   

    Interview with Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson 8-3-22

    Subjects covered included National Night Out, the Timeline of Gardner Public Schools, Social Media Posts, Water Pooling Issues at the Dog Park, the DPW, Addressing Citizen Concerns and needs, Parks and Recreation, Job Openings with the City, DPW Vacancies, Gardner Housing Authority, Department Heads and the Press, the Building Department, Animal Control, Reappointment of City Treasurer, Assessor/Tax Collector and Taxes, City Clerk, Various Departments working together, Public Safety, Health Department, Funding for positions, Purchasing Department, Human Resources, School Staffing, Gardner Sludge, and Praise for Departments.

    Complete Article with text of entire interview, CLICK HERE.

  • School Delay (8/1/2022)
    New Gardner Public School Schedule – CLICK IMAGE for larger view – a new complete Calendar will be published soon.
    NEW Gardner Elementary School 7-15-22

    Summer Vacation Extended as Supply Chain Issues Delay NEW Gardner MA Elementary School Opening

    Two weeks ago on July 15, 2022 Gardner Magazine published an article quoting the Project Supervisor at the NEW Gardner Elementary School. At the time he stated that “They hoped to be ready for the start of school with 6 weeks left to go.”, implying that the start of school might be delayed. Our 7/15 story. Today, August 1, 2022 apparently Bacon Construction assured the Gardner School System that they can get everything done in just 2 more weeks. As a result, the opening of Gardner Schools will be delayed according to the timeline at left. (CLICK IMAGE for larger view.)

    Update: 8/2/22: 9:10am – We are awaiting a call from Superintendent Pellegrino regarding the timeline, AND a call back from Project Manager Joe McDonald of Agostini/Bacon Construction regarding the reality of the timeline. We’ll update you as we have further information.

    Superintendent Dr. Mark Pellegrino wrote the following to the Gardner School Committee in an email 8/1/22: “Hi folks, Bacon Construction has said they will need two more weeks to finish the project.  I have been assured that it will ONLY BE TWO WEEKS. I explained that I am willing to break the bad news of the delay ONCE, but they cannot come back and asked for more time. I have been assured that it won’t happen. The attached letter explains the reasons for the delay.  So three things: 1. The elementary school will be delayed two weeks (8 school days) with a new start date of 9/15 for grades 1-4, 9/15 for kindergarten, and 9/19 for preschool. (All of these dates are two weeks later.  I will be requesting a waiver for 4 of the 8 days. 2. The middle school, high school and Gardner Academy will only be starting one week late (9/6).  3. We will need to vote on a new calendar at our first meeting.  Call or email me if you have any questions or concerns. Mark.” pdf

    Dr. Pellegrino provided the following for the Media. 8/1/22 “Here is a quote from me about the delay: ‘We are disappointed that the construction was delayed due to incomplete deliveries resulting from the same supply-chain issues that have plagued the entire nation, and understand how difficult this is for families. However, this decision balanced the importance of getting students in school right away, with the challenge of unpacking, starting the school year in our old schools, repacking, and moving to the new school.  This seems to be the best option considering all factors.

    I have been assured that this delay will only be two weeks, and no more. Although this poses a great difficulty for my families and staff, I am thrilled that children will be able to start school in our brand new facility!’”

    A letter was prepared for Gardner School Families. 8/1/22 Read the entire letter in PDF Format. CLICK HERE.

    The letter to Gardner Public School Families contains the following information:  Since we began construction of our new school, the building committee, business office, maintenance department, and outside contractors have overcome many obstacles to keep us on-time and on-budget while COVID continues to impact staffing and our supply-chain significantly. This past Friday, during our weekly scheduled check-in meeting, we learned that two supply-chain issues will require us to delay the opening of Gardner Elementary School by two weeks. This change requires that we also delay the opening of Gardner Middle School, Gardner High School, and Gardner Academy by only one week. Specifically: The elevator team had to stop work because part of a shipment of electrical fuses, elevator buttons, and some electrical panel boards was incomplete, and Our order of electrical panel boards (part of the main power distribution equipment) did not contain all of the necessary panels to power the building. Both of these recent issues were a direct result of supply-chain issues and caused subsequent delays in the project’s overall timeline. Until Friday, our expectation was to move in on time. Fortunately, we have been proactively planning for this situation. The following schedule considered: ● Balancing the importance of getting students in as soon as possible and providing teachers with the time they need to prepare for the opening of a new school; ● The impact on our sports programs and MCAS curriculum timelines; and ● Allowing the bus company to settle issues caused by having entirely new bus routes and start times. We apologize for this significant inconvenience. Please contact your school if you have questions or concerns. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we finish the lengthy, exciting process of building a new school for our children.   Sincerely, Mark J. Pellegrino, Superintendent of Schools. PDF format, CLICK HERE.

    Publisher’s Note: Parents should have a contingency plan for a longer delay, just in case it is necessary. As we stated in the opening to the story, we were advised on July 15, 2022 that 6 more weeks was needed as of that date and we fully expected to publish a story such as this at some point. While it is believed that both the construction company and School District are acting in good faith, neither has complete control over the Supply Chain which they both hope will cooperate with their needed timeline.


  • Gardner Magazine (8/1/2022)

    Links to our AUDIO pages: Mayor’s Updates, City Council, School Committee, Special Events. We also feature other AUDIO pages of historical value: Historical AUDIO, Vintage Radio.

    Thank you for your readership to for Greater Gardner MA

    As promised, we are releasing Statistics related to for July 2022.  Unique households (Circulation) 16,538.   Pageviews 131,783.   Files served (Hits) 534,794.  Gardner Magazine has consistently averaged 12,000  unique households.  June jumped to 14,000.  July jumped to over 16,000.  We thank you for your readership and we will continue to cover as much as we can. Gardner Magazine is unique in that we try to provide additional resources in our articles such as web links, document links, and even AUDIO. We are pleased these efforts have been well received.

    The addition of AUDIO

    After the July 6, 2022 Projects Interview with Mayor Nicholson, we posted the entire interview in mp3 format so all could listen to it.   It has thus far received in July 2022, 3,245 listeners. On July 22, 2022 we made all Mayor’s Updates, City Council Meetings, School Committee Meetings, and various Special Events available in mp3 format:  Here are the listener totals for the Mayor’s Updates: 7/29/22: 523, 7/22/22: 3,385, 7/15/22: 2,064, 7/8/22: 43.   All of the updates from 12/24/21 to date have been published and the older updates have received between 41 to 50 listeners.

    Other Meetings

    Here are the total July 2022 listeners for other Meetings:  Public Safety 7/29/22: 373, Zoning Board of Appeals 7/19/22: 1,163, City Council Meeting 7/5/22: 65, most other older City Council meetings in single or low 2 digits, School Committee 6-16-22: 50, most other older School Committee meetings in single digits.

    Other Items and July Numbers

    Pizza Polka (put on site 7/31/22): 94, We Have No Bananas: 870, Bye Bye Blackbird: 892, Gardner Spring Yard Sale PSA: 309, Poem, Sentient Soul of American Freedom: 1,419, Gardner Brand intro: 90, Abbott and Costello; 58.    Dozens of other audio files have from single to low double digit listeners.

    July 2022 Handout Standouts in pdf format:  Gardner Food Truck Festival: 1013, Annual School Calendar: 104, Vacant Storefronts: 82, Monument Park Concerts: 123.   Dozens of other handouts in pdf format have double digit downloads.


    on AUDIO: Gardner Magazine will continue to publish AUDIO files of Mayor’s Updates, City Council Meetings, School Committee meetings, various events, and topical novelty items.   Listenership is obviously greatest when the event is current, however we will maintain the archive in the public interest.   We have begun to add Winchendon meetings – their AUDIO is OK, but they have significant challenges with the quality of their video and have negligible viewership.     Let us know if there are meetings from your community you would like to listen to and we’ll see if we can make AUDIO available.  If there’s a YouTube file, our software can make an easy conversion.   Otherwise, it depends if the community has made a recording and will release it to us. on Documents: Gardner Magazine will continue to publish Agendas, complete Press Releases, booklets, publications, photos, and links to as many resources as possible to make your readership of our publication valuable. Reach us at anytime via or use our News tip line at (978) 632-6324.


  • Elementary Gallery (7/15/2022)
    Gardner MA Elementary School Gallery

    Today was the day, but there’s maybe 6 weeks to go for New Gardner MA Elementary School.

    We have a complete Photo Gallery taken July 15, 2022

    Project Supervisor we spoke with on 7-15-22 stated that both inside and outside work needs to be done as well as substantial site work. He states they hope to be ready for the start of school with about 6 weeks of work left to go. The Official Gardner MA School Calendar shows a first day of school of August 29, 2022. CLICK HERE.

  • Beautiful School (7/12/2022)
    Gardner MA Elementary School
    Gardner MA NEW Elementary School under construction

    Gardner MA NEW Elementary School Update in Pictures July 12, 2022

    The New Gardner Elementary School is slated to open in time for classes this Fall.   Seeing the school in photos is worth the look.  It’s beautiful….  Complete Photos, CLICK HERE.

  • Summer Eats (7/10/2022)
    Summer Eats Free Meals for kids and teens
    Free meals map
    FREE meals map Greater Gardner MA

    Summer Eats with Project Bread in Gardner MA Feeds Kids

    The Summer Eats Program at Gardner High School provides FREE breakfast from 8:15 to 9:00am and FREE lunch from noon to 1pm Monday through Friday through August 12th   Anyone 18 years of age or younger can enjoy breakfast and lunch for FREE in the Gardner High School cafeteria at 200 Catherine Street, Gardner. (Gym 1 entrance). 

    No Registration or ID

    No registration or ID is necessary.  Similar programs are available with lunch available at the Royalston library and various locations in Athol, Orange, Fitchburg, and Leominster.   For your community, use the convenient online map. CLICK HERE.

  • Projects (7/6/2022)

    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson – The Projects Interview – July 6, 2022

    Gardner Magazine Publisher Werner Poegel interviews Mayor Nicholson. The Chair City Mayor speaks about the new Gardner Elementary School, taxes, projects, and paving. In the complete article, we now have in writing the complete section on the New School explaining how your bills won’t go up because of it, how your higher preliminary real estate bills will get adjusted in the end, and how the City will work with those needing help in paying.

    Gardner MA School Excellence and Safety

    The Mayor cites numerous examples of excellence, going above and beyond, and School Safety.

    For complete article, CLICK HERE.

    To listen to the complete interview, just click the play button below:

    Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson Project 7-6-22
  • Gardner Elementary (6/26/2022)

    Mayor Nicholson on why it was canceled. “Due to a scheduling conflict with the main contractor, who still has site control of the location, the contractor asked that the public meeting/tour be postponed due to wanting to make sure they were 1) available to attend and 2) were able to ensure full cooperation with the required OSHA safety protocols of closed toe shoes and hardhats since it is still an active construction zone.”

    New Gardner Elementary School On Track – However, June 27, 2022 Public Tour Canceled

    A special meeting of the Gardner School Committee scheduled for 4pm on June 27, 2022 at which members of the public would have been able to tour the new Gardner Elementary School has been canceled. No word if it will be rescheduled for a later date.

    The notice of meeting canceled was posted on the School Committee website on Friday around noon. The media was not notified of this change and we have inquired why.

    Previously it was announced that only wearing a Hard hat and signing a waiver would get you in. The Gardner School Committee meeting was to be convened for that purpose and the Gardner City Council had planned to attend. In the meantime, our photos show the substantial progress being made on the new facility which is scheduled to be “substantially completed” by July 15th.


    Gardner MA new school just a few short weeks away from substantial completion.


    Construction continues at a brisk pace at the site of the new Gardner Elementary School.

    GES Connector
  • Moving Day (6/16/2022)
    Before it was an Elementary School, Gardner’s Elm Street School was Gardner High School

    Packing starts in earnest at Elm Street and Waterford Street Schools in Gardner MA

    Mark Hawke
    Mark Hawke

    Chairing the School Building Committee Mark Hawke stated that packing started in earnest on June 15, 2022. “At Elm Street School we filled 2 dumpsters.  Waterford filled 2 dumpsters.  They will both be emptied tomorrow and/or Friday, so we can continue cleaning out.  

    I was somewhat surprised at the success we had in cleaning out all the classrooms and packing, and I’m gonna say, somewhere in the vicinity of 80 to 85 percent of the classrooms are clean, green, ready to go.  All in all, things went fairly well. “

    Christina Thomas stated, “I want to send a huge thank you to the high school and middle school faculty and staff who came to our aid today.  It was very touching to have them come in and help move. And pack, and carry. “ It is reported that even the Superintendent of Schools Mark Pellegrino assisted in the moving.

    Earl Martin
    Earl Martin

    To watch the entire meeting, CLICK HERE.

    Mark Hawke said, “Everyone who wasn’t at Elm Street or Waterford street which included Cathy and Joyce and Mark Pellegrino, myself, and everyone at Central Office, and the High School and the Middle school were dispersed and sent to all the other classrooms to assist in any way possible.  So we got a great deal done in one day., a surprising amount done.”

    Earl Martin, “I should second all that, it showed the character of the School District as one that values team and helping each other out. Thanks to the Central Office and all the schools for helping out.”

    Gardner MA Teamwork
  • School Update (6/16/2022)

    Dream of new Gardner MA Elementary School fast becoming Reality

    Project Leader spokesman Tim Alix stated at 6-15-22 Building Committee meeting, “We feel comfortable that we’ll be ready, if not for the contractual date of substantial completion of July 15th, if not by then, certainly by the time school opens and we have occupancy prior to the start of school.” “Financially we’re doing well.  We’re on target.”


    IT Infrastructure Possible Issue and Biggest Project Challenge

    Tim Alix announced that they are making a switch from HP equipment for the switches in the closets for IT infrastructure. “HP is just not being able to provide us with delivery dates, so we switched, and as it turns out, we’re switching to the District’s preferred option, which is a Cisco product, a Cisco system, so right now the contractors are confirming that they have the quantity that we need, and that we’ll have it in the time that we need, …we’re going down that road because when they checked a week ago, they had the equipment we’d be needing and they were able to get it in on time….It will just able to coordinate with everything that we have.  That was our biggest challenge.  And it looks like that’s been resolved. ..As soon as we get confirmation 100 percent, we’ll let people know.

    Some Photos of Progress at the New Gardner Elementary School

    Building B – Southwest Corner
    Building B – Northwest Corner
    Building B – Insulating and Gym Ductwork
    Building B – East Canopy Footings
    Building B – Gym Divider
    B to C Connector
    Building B – Stair Number 3 Wall
    Building B – Art Room with polish Concrete slab
    Building A – South Elevation
    Building A – Second Floor Looking East
    Building B – Cafeteria Skylight
    Building C – Typical Classroom Floor

    Public Meeting Open to Public Attendance

    UPDATE: (As long as you sign a waiver)

    Mayor Nicholson was kind enough to personally call us at Gardner Magazine to advise that the General Public is most welcome on the tour of the new Gardner Elementary School on June 27th. They just need to sign a waiver. The reason is that it is a full Public Meeting that is not being adjourned for the tour, it is actually being convened for the purpose of the tour. Any public meeting may be attended by any member of the public. We were previously advised by both City Hall and the Superintendent’s office that the public could not attend due to safety protocols – however, the Mayor has now stated that as long as the waiver is signed, full public meeting rights apply. So in case any of you are wondering if the Mayor is always working, that question just got answered – he knows what’s going on even when he is out of town.

    So the Gardner School Committee, Gardner City Council, and members of the General Public will be touring the new Gardner Elementary School on June 27th. Hard hats to be worn by all. Dr. Hemman was asked about this during a Building Committee meeting and answered “yes’ regarding whether the public could attend the meeting. Gardner Magazine will attempt to screenshot any video of the meeting to provide you with as many photos of the new school as possible or we may just attend after signing our waiver.

    Next meeting of the Building Committee will be on July 20th after the substantial completion date. Watch the entire meeting, CLICK HERE.


  • School Committee 6-13-22 (6/14/2022)

    The City of Gardner MA School Committee met on Monday June 13, 2022Biggest News at End

    Due to the absence of Mayor Nicholson, the meeting was chaired by Vice Chair Jennifer Pelavin. None of the warrant articles listed on the agenda were taken up and the Executive Session listed was not held.


    Gino is Honored

    During the Superintendent Recognition segment, student representative Gino Divitto was recognized by Mark Pellegrino.”I would like to recognize Gino Divitto.” He then presented him with a plaque for outstanding service to the Gardner Public Schools.

    Divitto received positive comments from many of the members in their final comments at the end of the meeting. He is now a Gardner High graduate and will be attending college in the fall.

    Now Wait a Minute, Minutes!


    Shannon Ward-Leighton stated that the minutes noted that John Lafrenniere was absent, however she says “he was in fact present.” Chair Pelavin did not immediately thank Ward-Leighton for noticing this. Instead she stated, you’ll have to handle that at the subcommittee meeting, to amend minutes.” In a previous article, Gardner Magazine compared School Committee Meeting minutes with actual transcripts and found considerable inaccuracies. Mayor Nicholson has stated the problem will be corrected.

    Other School Items

    The Superintendent gave a Covid 19 update, stating that there were 3 cases consisting of 3 students and 0 staff. Testing will not continue next year. Mark Pellegrino stated, “and I’m ready to end Covid, so yeah.” He also stated that Kindergarten registration is expected to be between 170 to 200 total. Student meal pricing will be up next year to $2.50 for breakfast and $4.00 for lunch – the item was passed unanimously by the School Committee. The School Committee will be touring the new Gardner Elementary School on June 27th.

    Gardner MA Superintendent of Schools Mark Pellegrino

    Superintendent evaluation

    Most members submitted evaluations stating significant progress towards goals or met goals and in regards to different standards: proficient and exemplary. Anne Hurst commented, “Dr. Pellegrino has been consistently leading the District in a positive direction and I think it’s well-reflected in the evaluation, so we also would need to vote on his raise.”

    The evaluation passed unanimously and so did a 5% raise per contract. However, the Superintendent commented after the vote, ““Thank you.  I appreciate you recognizing the hard work that my office does.  I want to be really clear that any of the work that I do, if it wasn’t for ….all my whole team we would not be moving in the direction that we’re moving.   I don’t accept a raise that is higher than my staff, so I will only be accepting the 2 percent raise that my staff is getting. “

    Final Comments of the School Committee

    Shannon Ward Leighton

    Shannon Ward – Leighton “ Just to echo what Dr. Pellegrino said, I think we can’t really thank the people enough in this district…. My eyes have been incredibly opened this year as to how things operate.   Normally I stay positive with my comments, but I think I want to bring something up.  This has been a really terrible year for teachers, and in many ways.  And I obviously can’t remove my bias as an educator from that, this past month particularly, ….to see the things that have happened across the country. We are really lucky here to have the people that we do.  I am lucky to have the teachers for my daughters that we do, and, the only thing I can think of is just thank you to Gardner’s teachers, for keeping our kids safe, keeping our kids happy as much as they can, I’m sorry, I won’t get emotional, it’s not like that in other districts.   It’s not.  And just um, I’m going to give a special shout out to Miss Cannell and Miss Nordstrom at the Middle School from Sophie and Miss Chicoine at the Elementary School and just thank everyone in this District for what you do…you’re doing amazing work for children.  And thank you everyone here for being so welcoming to me this year, for this school year and letting me cut my teeth during a difficult time.”

    Anne Hurst

    Anne Hurst, “First I wanted to thank Gino again.  I ‘ve always felt it so important to have a student voice here, and he’s been great and I asked him if he heard us  yelling ‘Go Gino’ at graduation. ..Just to kinda of echo was Shannon was saying too: at graduation the speeches were inspiring. The young woman who didn’t start out  in this district and ended up here. And her words just meant so much. And to see the amount of kids with awards and, I’m sorry, losing my words again, and then tonight at the Middle School to see all those kids and how happy they are to be going on to High School.  The people who are negative and the recent Facebook stuff that’s negative, it doesn’t reflect what is actually happening here, and all you have to do is just be at any one of these events, talk to anybody, and you will find out a totally different story.  And I am thankful to Dr. Pellegrino for getting things moving forward that I have been advocating for, for many, many years, for inclusion and social-emotional learning, and I just appreciate everybody here in this District.  And Gino, good luck what ever it is you’re heading off to and whatever you may find.”

    Gino Divito

    Gino Divito, “ I wanted to thank everybody for this, first of all.  I wasn’t expecting this at all.  It’s also been a pleasure being on this, for this year.  Back in sophomore year before Covid, I had a friend who did this as well and I was just like, ‘ I wanna do that when I’m a senior,’ so I asked him…is this still a thing?  And I’m glad I did because I learned a lot of skills about how like a Board and how teams operate. So I’ll be able to carry that at college and beyond. I’m grateful for that.  Definitely glad to have been part of the District for the last 12 years, ‘cause the thing is, like, the more involved  you are the better it is. Like I’m involved in probably too many things, but I’m involved enough and everything you do, there is something to be taught with it, so…thank you.”  Dr. Pellegrino asked Gino, “What are your plans for next  year, do you want to share them with the board?” Gino Divito, “I’m going to Nichols College in Dudley to study sports management and sports marketing.”

    Robert Swartz

    Robert Swartz, “Well, June 8th, I attended the D.A.R.E. graduation at the Middle School.  That was quite an event.  It really was.  And it has an extra meaning too, as John Lawrence who has been our School Resource Officer for the past 22 years….I recall and incident, probably before all of you. This was probably in his 4th or 5th year.  And I don’t know if many of you know, he was also in the Reserves, the Navy Reserve, I believe. And, it was that time in his career, police career, he was thinking about giving up being a Resource Officer ‘cause he just didn’t think it was that important.  Well, all the kids in the School District heard about what he was thinking about, and they wrote letters and sent him cards, told him how important he was to them, for their safety.  Well, 22  years later he’s now retiring, I think around January or February, so I wish John Lawrence well.  He’s done a great job for us.  So that takes care of the D.A.R.E. program.  And he was the prime instructor for the D.A.R.E. program, all of these  years. So, he’s quite a character when he’s hosting the graduation, he really is, but he gets it done….As I said earlier in the evening, I attended the GHS awards night, and it was an amazing thing as I mentioned it to my son, ‘cause I attended my granddaughter’s graduation at North Middlesex, and I just mentioned to my son that the little City of Gardner presented to the students that were graduating 600 thousand dollars in awards, he almost choked when I told him. But, we have a grateful community and they certainly , all those great people take care of our graduation, graduates, I thank them for that. I attended the GHS and the GALT graduations and I really enjoyed the GALT, even though there were only 14, but they have worked so hard to achieve their graduation.  That’s why I really liked attending. Although the GHS was great, it was good, it was large, but I like GALT too.   And as Anne Hurst said, most of us attended the great ‘?’….promotion which is rather odd, but it was quite interesting, of about 180 students I believe, something like that, going into the 8th grade, but they’re going in to the High School.  That was their theme, we’re going to the high school. That’s all I have, thank you.”

    John Lafreniere

    John Lafreniere, “ I want to also say thanks to Officer Lawrence for all the things he’s done for the district over the years.  He’s fantastic to have here.  Good luck to Gino. It was nice having you here., working with you.  Also, thank Dr. Pellegrino for another job well done, reflected in the evaluation. I think this is my 19th year on the School Committee, and I have to say, with what  you’ve had to deal with over these past few years, and how well you’ve done,… thank you very much.  Done a great job, worth every bit of the raise that you’re getting, if not more.  I know you have a great team behind you, helps you and gets the district where they are, I appreciate that, I appreciate them just as much, and also as a leader you’re also there to support them, for their needs. So, that shows what a great leader you are.”

    Rachael Cormier

    Rachel Cormier, “You know, a year ago when we talked about going in to the school year, I had a hard time, like, envisioning how it was going to go after going through all the changes with Covid, and I was very apprehensive, and I just want to acknowledge the staff and the teachers and everybody in central office that made this work incredibly well for our kids.  I think going to a lot of the end-of-school programs at the various schools seeing how happy and excited these kids were to have a normal year and have something to celebrate made everything worth it.  There were headaches, there were struggles, there were tears, through the whole process, but seeing that they had a good year made it all worth it and I’m really appreciative of the staff and teachers for doing that…Gino, thank you, I know everybody else has said it, but your dedication to being here was great all the time, always having something to provide.  I don’t always follow the sports, but I knew once a month that I was going to get an update, so I appreciate that, thank you.  And that’s all, looking forward to another good school year coming up and that brand new school.”     

    Jennifer Pelavin

    Jennifer Pelavin, “ And I just wanted to say, to thank all of the staff, everyone who works for Gardner Public Schools, it’s amazing.  I always love when we get to this point, ‘cause it’s amazing to kinda look back and see tomorrow’s the last day for the students.  And I did wanna mention that as you all saw in the update from Mr. Martin that the DIBL score which is the reading aptitude testing, that it’s some of the best DIBL’s scores they’ve had, correct?”  Mark Pellegrino stated, “ever”  K through grade 2 had growth that, we have never,  just not seen that level of growth. Usually, at the end of the year we were hitting about 60 percent, this year through grade 1 there were over 80 percent.   In grade 2, they were just a little under 80 percent.  So those kind of growth scores we just haven’t seen before, and I think that speaks a lot to Mr. Martin’s leadership and that team, ….following through and really working together as a team to develop lesson plans that are effective. 

    The Biggest News: Efforts in the Gardner School System to improve academic performance are showing their value in documented results such as the big bump in 1st and 2nd grade reading scores documented by Vice Chair Pelavin and Superintendent Pellegrino in the above exchange.

  • Officer Honored (6/9/2022)

    Officer John Lawrence is shown to the right of the D.A.R.E. mascot.

    Gardner MA PD and Gardner Public Schools Honor School Resource Officer

    School Resource Officer John Lawrence was honored during the DARE graduation ceremony on June 8, 2022 with a Lifetime Achievement Award for 22 years as a School Resource Officer and DARE instructor.


    Lawrence got a standing ovation from fellow officers, school staff, community leaders, and students. The officer has plans to retire in January 2023.

    Gardner PD stated, “Officer Lawrence congratulations, you will be deeply missed by the schools, the PD and youth of the community. The positive impact you have had on the city’s youth will not be forgotten.”

  • City Council 6-6-22 (6/7/2022)
    Gardner MA City Council title 6-6-22
    Music Programs Scored a Big Win at the Gardner City Council Meeting on June 6, 2022 with a $100,000 capital expenditure.

    View Gardner City Council Meetings on the City of Gardner YouTube page or on our City Council page. CLICK HERE.

    Arts at the Heart of Smart

    The $100,000 for the School Capital Project Music Account was approved unanimously by the Gardner City Council after discussion, a substantial victory for MUSIC in the Chair City.


    The “Scooter” Ordinance went to First Printing with use in cemeteries prohibited.

    MUSIC Wins Big at Gardner MA City Council meeting of June 6, 2022

    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson asked for $100,000 from free cash for the School Capital Project Music Support Account and this request resulted in considerable discussion and comment among the City Councilors.

    Councilor Ronald Cormier stated, “…all of us I think are cognizant of the fact that last week there were so many kids involved in the newly reinstituted  music program in the elementary school that they had to spread the concert over two nights.  And with the new school being opened in the Fall, we need to provide the tools, if you will, needed by the Music Department, and there is a list of items, many of which I’m not even familiar with, because I’m not much of a musician, …but these are the tools that’ll be needed….the equipment stays with the school to be used year after year by the children.  It’s exciting to see this happening in our school system. “

    Councilor Nathan Boudreau, “ I am in support of this, I’d just like to thank the Mayor for his dedication to the arts during his tenure, I think it’s gonna come back tenfold.  It’ll be great for the future of our city and for the future of the programs.”

    Councilor Mack, “I’m also in support of this.  I just want to make sure this is quite a number of instruments and that the school department is going to be able to budget for any repairs and maintaining the equipment ‘cause it is quite a few items, so that the money is being spent wisely and the instruments will be able to be used for many years to come.”

    Councilor Walsh, “This is somewhat along the lines of Councilor Mack’s comment about budgeting.   This is a substantial amount of money for new equipment, presumably there is existing equipment that these, all these additional people were using during the course of the current year.  So this is supplementing that, beyond what is in existence already.  I’m wondering why this is being done as a free cash appropriation rather than included in the school budget”

    Mayor Nicholson responded, “That’s an excellent question from Councilor Walsh. And it is one that we did look into as well….  What we ended up doing for our plan is doing a one time expenditure like this to get us to that point and then budgeting the maintenance going forward in the regular school budget….The school does have an on-call contract with City Music for its repair of its instruments…. The compromise if you will in terms of a plan that we have  for this was that the purchase up front would get us to a place where we need to be to get the students who are in the program right now the equipment and instruments they need to run the programs…”

    Councilor Boone, “Yeah, I was kinda curious why the money wasn’t coming out of the Williams Rockwell Fund for the Arts. Maybe somebody can speak to that. “

    Councilor Walsh, “As a member of that committee I can tell you that the Williams Rockwell group has funded substantial improvements in the school with the auditorium, …at least a half dozen different appropriations over the last couple of years….a substantial request was denied…because it was felt that was something that should be in the school budget….”

    Other items which came before the Council included the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget which was referred to the entire Council as a Committee as a whole. $18,000 was approved to go to the medical exams account. $18,000 from free cash to medical exams account.   Councilor Dernalowicz stated, “City has hired 160 new employees.  This includes the school department as well.….this is to cover mandatory physical and drug testing, random drug testing for DPW, psych evaluations for the fire and police department…will cover expenses for remainder of fiscal year.” The $45,000 for the unclassified termination leave account to cover unexpected retirements passed unanimously. Park Opposition: There was opposition voiced by Councilors Walsh, Boone, and Mack regarding the proposed monies for Maki Park and Park Street Park and the matter was referred. The Board of Health will gets its new vehicle, an electric one to replace its 2013 vehicle which has been described as just having salvage value.

    Councilor Comments:

    Dana M. Heath, “No new business, I just want to go ahead and say I was lucky to go and attend with you and a couple other councilors the graduation over the weekend.  It was a a beautiful event, so a big shout out to Gardner High for going ahead and putting that all together.  It was nice this year. No masks, being able to see everyone’s smile. George Tyros: “nothing new this evening.” Alek Dernalowicz: “nothing this evening.” Judy Mack: “nothing new this evening.” Craig Cormier: “Yeah, I’d like to just briefly mention that the Public Safety Committee did pass temporary removal of parking meters, both on Parker Street and on Main Street, at the request of a couple businesses to allow some sidewalk dining this summer in conjunction with our closing of Pleasant Street.  So it’ll be interesting to see how that does. Look forward to that.” James Boone, “I got to attend the Memorial Day ceremonies along with many of you.  I’m hoping that we can do something about the sound system for next time we have an event there because it was very, you couldn’t hear a thing, so, hopefully we’ll put some money in the budget to fix that.” Nathan Boudreau, “ No new city council business this evening.” Karen Hardern: “Nothing new this week.” James Walsh, “I have nothing more.” Ronald Cormier: “I have nothing.”


  • School Budget Session (6/7/2022)
    Gardner MA  City Council in informal budget session 6-6-22

    Gardner MA City Council Hears Superintendent Pellegrino speak of “an efficiently -run system”

    Dr. Mark Pellegrino went over the budget adjustment process and went over each page of the budget in detail. Members of the school committee asked questions regarding the budget, which were answered by Superintendent Pellegrino, stating one goal is “Make sure students stay in Gardner” and encourage “teachers planning together.”

    Dr. Pellegrino demonstrated that the City of Gardner School District is spending an average of 23% less on Administration costs than comparable School Districts. It spends 50% less than the average on Instructional Leadership.  “We’re trying to keep administration down and make sure that we’re an efficiently-run system.” “We’re paying a lot less per student on administration as well as school administration.” Pellegrino pointed out that the City of Gardner is under spending on Teachers and Other Teaching Services by about 16% as compared to Districts similar to Gardner.

    Other notable items:  The City of Gardner spends 63% less on Instructional Materials and Technology.  However, when it comes to Guidance Counseling and Testing, Gardner spends $665 per student when the average among comparable districts is $628. Pellegrino also went over the other categoriesThe Superintendent pointed out that Operations and Maintenance efforts have been bettered and Gardner spends only 5% less than the average comparable District. .   “We’re really trying to make it so we are maintaining our buildings.” 

    Pupil Services expenditures are at 69% less than average and Pellegrino stated, “Pupil Services is more transportation and things like that and so again it’s something we wanna  be more efficient in. “ Dr. Pellegrino went over the various school positions in detail and explained the rationale behind needing the various positions.


  • GHS Grads (6/4/2022)
    Gardner High School - Gardner MA
    Gardner High School – Gardner MA

    Gardner MA Holds Graduation of Gardner High School and Gardner Academy

    Graduation was held on Saturday June 4, 2022 for Gardner High School and Gardner Academy in the Chair City of Gardner MA.

    Gardner High School Graduation

    To watch the entire Gardner High School Graduation on YouTube, click here.

    Ceremony is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

    Gardner Academy Graduation

    To watch the entire Gardner Academy Graduation on YouTube, click here.

    Recently at Gardner Scholarship Night, over one half million dollars total of Scholarship Funds were awarded to the graduates.

  • Fall Sports (5/27/2022)

    Fall Sports Registrations open in Gardner MA

    It may be barely summer, but planning is already underway for Gardner MA Fall Sports. All Sports registrations are now open for Football, Cheer, Soccer, Field Hockey, Golf, and, Cross Country. It’s done online at this link: CLICK HERE.

    If you have any questions, you can contact Athletic Director Dan Forte via email at Phone: 978-632-1600 ext. 1800, or Cell: (978) 340-2268

    Here is also a link to the Gardner MA Athletics page.

  • Wednesday Afternoon (5/19/2022)
    Park Downtown Gardner MA

    Simultaneous events in Gardner MA, the Chair City are chronicled for one Wednesday afternoon.

    DPW at Gardner Dog Park
    Sports at Gardner MA High School

    It was a Great Wednesday Afternoon in Gardner MA

    On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in Gardner Massachusetts, Gardner was quietly being a Great place to Live, Work, Play, and Visit.   People were going about their business on City Hall Avenue.   Shoppers were enjoying stores on Main Street.  The Lion made it to a new location on Parker Street.  The Downtown Garage was being used for vehicles, but there were plenty of easy spaces for more Downtown Shoppers to enjoy.

    The DPW was sprucing up the Dog Park and the dogs were having a good time.  A Downtown park was green with life.  Senior Center Director Mike Ellis met people at the job fair. Priscilla’s Candy Shop looked inviting from outside.  Across the City at the Uptown Rotary, the flowers were blooming.  People were shopping at Walmart, Timpany Plaza, and the Gardner Plaza.  People were enjoying food at their favorite eating places.   The construction site at the new Gardner Elementary School was quiet, with the outhouses resting after a long day of use and construction had completed for the day.   Gardner High School was active with many students enjoying the outdoors.

    It was an ordinary afternoon, but there wasn’t really anything ordinary about it.  It was actually pretty great.  People just weren’t thinking about how awesome it was!  Enjoy Gardner, the Chair City.      All Wednesday afternoon photos in the Chair City, click here.

  • GHS Concert (5/15/2022)
    Gardner High School MA Spring Concert

    Gardner MA High School Spring Concert Thursday May 19, 2022

    Come enjoy an evening of music in the newly reupholstered, carpeted, and painted Landry Auditorium at Gardner High School. The concert will include the Jazz Band, 8th Grade Chorus, 8th Grade Band, Select Choir, HS Chorus, & HS Band.  Admission is $4 adults, $3 students at the door.

    GHS Music on Facebook, CLICK HERE. – GMS on Facebook, CLICK HERE.

    Publisher’s note: We searched for a Music page on the Gardner School District website and couldn’t find one. We apologize if we missed it. Otherwise, time to add one.

  • School Committee 05-09-22 (5/12/2022)

    Watch the meeting on the City of Gardner’s Youtube page or on our School Committee page. CLICK HERE.

    Great Students Focus of Hour-long Gardner MA School Committee Meeting on May 9, 2022

    During the meeting, a number of students from the Elm Street Student Council were recognized by Superintendent Mark Pellegrino. There’s was even a quick recess for a photo op with the students.

    Various reports were heard including from Robert Swartz of the Facilities Subcommittee: “Work on high school athletic fields continues, vendor is working very hard trying to bring them back to life again.  I’m getting reports that they’re looking better and better.” Mayor Nicholson noted that the painting in the Landry auditorium began on 5-9-22, hope is it will be done in time for concert next week. John Lafrieniere reported from the Finance Subcommittee,”We discussed student/staff meal pricing.   Will wait for more info to vote on possible price increase at June meeting.” Superintendent Pellegrino spoke about his goals including District improvement, increasing school and family partnerships, and creating a culture of dignity in the schools.

    School Committee Member Comments

    anne hurst

    Anne Hurst during meeting stated, “As a disability advocate for more than 30 years, these are the types of things with special education and inclusion of students, the social-emotional learning, has been stuff than I and many other parents have been advocating for many, many years, and I am thrilled to see this coming to fruition, finally, and everybody has really done a lot of work to make this happen.  And I just think people ;need to know the history too, that this has been a long time coming.  … There are a lot of districts who don’t have anything like this.  We are lucky to have the dedicated people that we have.”

    Anne Hurst in comments stated “ I just want to congratulate the guidance counselors and all the students who were here tonight.  It is just, it makes me feel so good to see kids being involved in taking initiative, and you know, they’re gonna be our future leaders, and that’s, it’s very impressive what’s been going on.  I also did want to mention that May is Mental Health Month, you know, don’t ever think that it can’t happen to you or someone you know…people kinda suffer in silence.  I lost my brother about 7  years ago now to suicide, and don’t be one of those people who says, I never saw it coming, ‘cause there’s things you can do, there’s resources out there, and people are not going to reach out to you. Thank  you.”

    ward leighton

    Shannon Ward Leighton stated “Echoing the same thing.  Just really happy to see all the positive things that are happening and I did want to mention: last week the Gardner Elementary School PTO put on at Art Show and it was huge, it was busy for the full 3 hours that I was there, and I know that there was a lot of funds raised to kind of pad the account next year, so when we open the new Elementary School, we have some resources available to do fun events for the kids, and just a big shout out to Missy Torez and Kelley Perkins, who it was kinda like, their baby to put this together and it was really cool. It was very cool, there was a lot of good raffle baskets.  There were bikes and a lot of parents donated a lot of money for their kids artwork which is very cool.  And the photo booth was a really big hit… “


    Jennifer Pelavin” I also want to thank the Elm Street School student council.  My daughter was a part of it, so obviously I know what little projects they did.  It was amazing how much they got to do.  I think they met for like an hour, maybe, I think it was every other week, and it was amazing what they accomplished in that short time period.  And also I did attend the art gallery last week and it was amazing to see how many parents, were there, I mean, it was packed.  For the people walking around purchasing the art, and I think it was a great idea and hopefully we can do it, hopefully yearly, would be nice, because I think it’s something that you know it’s neat for the kids to go and see somebody pay for something they created too.  It really gave them a sense of worth that way, so, that is all, thank you.”

    Robert Swartz

    Robert Swartz “I’m looking forward to… when I’ll be attending the Special Olympics on Watkins Field, I’m looking forward to that.  Special Olympics of May,… well the 26th.  I hope those kids don’t lose their ambition to volunteer.  As they’ll get older, they’ll be interested in other things, but I just hope the momentum keeps going. And it’s great for them to do all that volunteering.  Thanks for Seaman Paper and Garlock Industries for donating $5500 each to Junior/Senior Prom.  We haven’t had a prom for a couple of years, so it’s great to see the train rolling down the track again. That’s all I have.”


    John LaFrieniere, “Just thank the Elm Street School Student Council, that was really nice to see, and motivating I think, you know. To see that young and all they’re doing, is great.  Hopefully it does continue. And I know Rachael didn’t make it here tonight, but just let her know if she’s watching, she’s got some homework….a stack of things to sign.

    Mayor Nicholson

    Mayor Nicholson, “On my end I also want to thank the Elm Street School Student Council for coming tonight.  It was great to have that pizza lunch with them the other day too.  They went through a list of 22 questions that they have previously prepared beforehand, and they were very thoughtful in those questions too, I’ll say that.  It’s nice to see them getting involved.

    Just to give people an update as they are planning their commutes to and from school.: We did have to adjust our paving schedule to a more condensed season this year due to gas prices and our contract expiring at the end of June, which would cause the prices to go up further.  For us, we were locked in at a lower rate, but where that ends at the end of the fiscal year, ….work on Pearl Street will be completed by May 19th, Central Street, West Lynde, West and Monadnock will have work done between May23rd and May31st. Parker Street, West, and Monadnock will be paved on June 1st. And Woodlawn Avenue will have work done between June 13th and June 17th, so that’s a lot more condensed than we normally have our paving season. Our price of asphalt is going up 40% on July 1st.

    Nicholson continued, “Congratulations to all of our alum who are graduating from college over the next couple of weeks here…You can come home to Gardner after you graduate college, we have a lot waiting for you here. I want to thank the 30 to 40 volunteers from Gardner High School who helped in the citywide litter cleanup this past weekend. It was great to see so many of our students out, not only just around the schools but also on Rear Main Street and several other places around the City. it was really nice to see the younger generation of our city to be getting involved like that and having that be the example of other people to follow in the community.”

    Nicholson continued, “I did go to Boston today for the governor’s new Forward Bill…In the 3.5 billion dollars in ARPA funding…. there’s also increased funding for innovative pathways and early college programs that we’ll be looking at. I also plan to put up the money for the Snack Shack bathrooms, or at least a substantial portion at the June City Council meeting. And the City Budget will also be presented for that first June meeting as well.”


  • Gardner Fields (4/29/2022)
    photo at athletic fields

    City of Gardner MA Athletic Fields

    Gardner is investing over $600,000 to improve School Athletic Fields. Press Release has details. CLICK HERE

    CLICK PHOTO at left for larger view.

  • School Committee 4-11-22 (4/12/2022)
    school committee 4-11-22
    Gardner MA School Committee 4-11-22 Watch the meeting on the City of Gardner YouTube channel or on our School Committee page. CLICK HERE.
    Reading Success

    Busy Gardner MA School Committee Meeting on April 11, 2022

    As is often the case, the School Committee opened the meeting with recognitions. It was noted that out of 10 School districts participating in the Winter Reading Challenge, Gardner students read 1/3 of all the books. Students were awarded gifts. And, older students who took the MCAS Exam found success, with several students winning scholarships for tuition.

    Robert Swartz

    The Finance sub-committee’s report was made by Robert Swartz who reported that the athletic director was pleased that the athletic field work was underway. The locker contract has been signed. During the next school year, 5 pre k classes are anticipated. The School Committee unanimously voted to raise the rates from $220 to $260 per month for full day, and from $110 to $130 for half day.

    Anne Hurst

    The Policy sub-committee’s report was made by Anne Hurst. The school district will be changing policy to include a provision that regardless of age, if a child has completed kindergarten in another school district, the child can attend first grade. Previously, an age requirement applied.


    Gino Divito reported for the Student Advisory Board. He commented on the success of the music programs and the start of spring sports.

    Dr. Goguen

    Dr. Goguen had a Covid update and referred to the bi-weekly dashboard of covid cases in the district and noted that the number of positive cases had dropped in the past week.

    Gardner Bi-weekly dashboard
    Gardner Public Schools Dashboard – CLICK IMAGE for larger view

    Dr. Goguen also remarked on Kindergarten registration: As of today 88 students are registered and we try to plan for 200. There are 176 students in current kindergarten.

    There was a special education update and member Shannon-Ward Leighton praised the proactive approach to in-class behavior issues, rather than waiting for things to happen.

    School Committee Member Comments

    Shannon War Leighton

    Shannon Ward-Leighton  regarding Diversity event in March, “I walked in and didn’t realize it was going to be as big as it was…it was wonderful though.  The musical was great, all the concerts were great. It was just good to see the kids faces.”

    Anne Hurst

    Anne Hurst “went to the cultural events and the school play and I saw one of the concerts…it was so much fun…it’s good to see everybody out and doing things….it feels a little more normalcy.  Very proud of the students who won the awards for reading and the students with the scholarships. There are a lot of good things that happen in this district.”

    Gino Divito

    Gino Divito “ So, I wanna say, parents for the graduating class this year, we are putting on baccalaureate again.  I was told to formally invite everyone here including everyone who’s not here….It will be May31st at Annunciation Parish….NHS is also trying to bring back recycling at the high school.”

    Robert Swartz

    Robert Swartz, “Like Mrs. Hurst I saw the high school play.  It was great. To see the students do their theatrical skills, it was really wonderful, to see that again.  This Thursday the facilities committee will meet at the Helen Mae Sauter School, hopefully for the last time.”

    Rachael Cormier

    Rachael Cormier, “I want to recognize all the students that were honored…it’s no coincidence we have so many high school students honored when we have the great reading programs for the younger grades.  It’s starts there.  We can’t expect them to succeed in high school if we’re not starting in kindergarten and first grade.”  

    Jennifer Pelavin

    Jennifer Pelavin, “…I did attend the Elm Street School play which was adorable.  The kids did such a great job… I’m so glad that everybody is getting to do this all again.”


  • Budget Approved (3/15/2022)

    Gardner MA School Committee Approves Budget

    We have all the details on the meeting. For the complete article, CLICK HERE.

  • Mayor- Chair (3/12/2022)
    Mayor Nicholson brought the “Magic Mike” to Landry Auditorium at Gardner High School for his 3-11-22 Weekly Update. He is showing one of the chairs now made at Gardner High School.

    Watch the Mayor’s Updates on YouTube or on our Mayor’s Update page. CLICK HERE.

    Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Shares the Chair, Highlights Gardner Manufacturing, Focuses on Improvements, and Channels Gardner Culture.

    Mayor Nicholson reported on a visit to Vivitide in the Suffolk Industrial Park on the Gardner/Ashburnham line. (previous name: New England Peptide).

    Vivitide – Gardner MA Website: CLICK HERE

    Notable Gardner Industry

    The Mayor reports that the company is notably currently working on  targeted chemotherapy for cancer treatments.    Gardner might do a manufacturing month during the month of May to highlight Gardner manufacturers.



    Mayor Nicholson reminded the Chair City that soon construction will be underway again in Gardner. Map of Gardner projects, CLICK HERE.

    There’s various roadway improvements, development starting at Parker and Connors Street, the rear Main Street corridor, and other existing buildings. There will be contractor bids requested for 14 Leamy Street, and a City-owned land sale on April 13th. Should be a busy Spring in Gardner MA.

    Gardner Massachusetts Live, Work, Visit, and Play

    Ordinances of Note

    Mayor Nicholson reviewed the various ordinances passed by the Gardner City Council at its last meeting including an increase in fees for the Fire and Building Departments, updates to Animal Control, options for Blighted Buildings, Restaurant Outdoor seating, and getting rid of an archaic arcades code.

    He reminded citizens that ordinances are only FINAL after the second printing, which is simply the term for a second vote. The Mayor thanked Acting Chief Alfano, says the investigation is wrapping up, “should have public resolution to everything that’s happening at the Police Department by the end of next week.”


    Channeling Gardner MA Culture

    Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson channeled Gardner culture, remarking that the first musical will be held at Gardner High School in 3 years. He mentioned the Community and Culture Festival coming up on March 16th and other events. To view the complete Gardner High School Calendar with details of upcoming events, CLICK HERE.


    You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

    The Gardner High School Spring Musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” will be held Thurs. March 17, Fri. March 18, and Saturday March 19, all shows start at 7pm at Landry Auditorium. Tickets at the door: Adults $10, Students and Seniors $8. Advanced tickets: Adults $8, Students and Seniors $5.

  • Mask Mandate Gone (2/18/2022)

    Read 2/28/22 letter from Gardner Superintendent of Schools Mark Pellegino. CLICK HERE.

    Not so Fast! Greater Gardner Mask Mandate only Partially Rescinded.

    While on February, 28, 2022, masks will no longer be required in Gardner Public Schools and other schools in area communities, all students and staff must still wear masks on school buses. There are other requirements and recommendations, and changing circumstances could bring the masks back.

  • Concept to Reality (2/18/2022)
    Artist’s Drawing
    February 2022

    From Concept to Reality – Real new Gardner MA Elementary School getting closer to Artist’s drawing.

    We have a progress photos page using screenshots from publicly provided drone video. To view the exciting page of photos of the school slated to open to students in Fall 2022, CLICK HERE

  • Schools 2-14-22 (2/15/2022)
    Gardner MA School Committee 2-14-22
    Teacher Alison Lombardi honored.

    The Gardner MA School Committee meetings can be watched on YouTube or on our School Committee page. CLICK HERE.

    The meeting ended with positive comments by School Committee members:

    Shannon Ward-Leighton thanked the Central office staff for getting her up to speed. Impressed with school improvement plans.

    Anne Hurst – stated that there was a lot to be proud of in this district and she was proud to be part of it. “The people who think so negatively about things are not informed, and don’t realize what is actually happening. I appreciate everybody and all they do.”

    Gardner MA School Committee meets for Valentine’s Day session

    The tone of the Valentine’s Day School Committee meeting was overwhelmingly positive as a successful teacher was recognized and the various school principals chronicled the successes of the various programs which have been put in place to improve learning in the Schools. The common theme was one of stressing continual evaluation through constant data gathering to improve academic performance, attendance, and discipline. It was stated that when students feel supported, they come to school more.

    Next year’s Junior class will be the first class where financial literacy will be a graduation requirement. Goal: Students can balance a checkbook, cook a meal, and sew a button. Superintendent Pellegrino added, “No credit cards, don’t be in debt.” Other discussions focused on the positive aspects and development and increased parental involvement including the PTO.

    Robert Swartz reported that the School District had ordered 90 tons of salt for the winter and had already used 65 tons due to the type of winter we’ve had.

    Student Representative Gino Divito announced that the High School had begun practice for the yearly Musical which this year will be “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” to be performed March 17-19. Also, the National Honor Society inducted 24 new members.

    Supt. Pellegrino indicated he’ll be making a decision on masks on Friday after the Safety Committee Meeting, noting the masking mandate is done as of February 28, 2022.

    The School Committee voted unanimously to accept students for School Choice in the coming year and approved School Calendar 2022-23 Option 1 which features 4 full days of professional development up front and 4 1/2 days at other times in school year. A survey of parents and staff had been held with 59% desiring Option 1.

    Calendar option 1 excerpt

    Jennifer Pelavin -“Everything is starting to come together. It’s just all positive news and I’m glad to see it.”

    Gino Divito – “It’s a lot cooler to see how much things have changed over the years.”

    Robert Swartz – “Thanks for the nurses who are working very hard to keep us healthy.”

    John LaFreniere – “Thanks to the Principals and their staffs for putting together these programs and presenting to us. Looks great, proud of them.”

    Rachael Cormer – ” I have praise for Alison Lombardi.”

    Mayor Nicholson – “Rockwell committee committed just under 100 grand.”


  • Mask Mandate (2/12/2022)

    Gardner Public Schools is currently not making any data available as to the number of staff and students afflicted with Covid. No word as to why.

    Gardner MA Schools go DARK on Covid Data, Mum on Masks

    Gardner Public Schools Covid Dashboard hasn’t been updated in a month. The current DASHBOARD was checked on January 28, 2022 and again on February 12, 2022 – still states updating and has missing data. No word on why. With the statewide Mask Mandate expiring February 28, 2002 we are waiting for word on whether Gardner Public Schools will be requiring masks in March or not. As of this date, the official website has no information.

  • School Closings (2/3/2022)

    Greater Gardner MA School Closings

    The three network TV affiliates in Boston each publish updated school closing information for our area: Here are the links: ABCNBCCBS

  • Covid Dashboard (1/28/2022)
    CLICK on IMAGE for larger view

    Gardner MA Covid Dashboard Not Yet Updated

    As of 10pm on January 28, 2022, the Gardner Public School Covid 19 Bi-Weekly DASHBOARD shows “updating” instead of a number of cases. We’ll update this story if the information becomes available.

  • Gardner Cheerleaders (1/23/2022)
    Gardner MA Varsity Cheerleading Team
    Gardner MA Varsity Cheerleading Team

    Gardner MA Varsity Cheerleading Team Scores Huge 5th Place Showing

    NCA Championship LOGO

    Gardner Wildcat Athletics has announced that the Gardner MA Varsity Cheerleading Team has brought home a strong 5th place showing at the National Competition.  The top cheerleaders from across the entire United States converged on the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas during the weekend of January 22/23, 2022.  

  • Furniture – Fixtures (1/20/2022)
    Gardner Elementary School furniture fixtures equipment bid opening

    Bids opened for Gardner MA Elementary School Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment

    Bid Opening relating to Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment for the Gardner Elementary School was held at noon at January 19, 2022. Watch the bid opening video, CLICK HERE

  • School Committee 1-4-22 (1/5/2022)
    Pledge of Allegiance during Gardner MA School Committee Meeting January 4, 2022
    Little Chair

    Mayor Nicholson announced that the little chairs Gardner often gives out will now be made by a woodworking class at Gardner High School, thanking teachers spearheading the effort, “teaching students to measure twice and cut once.”

    First Gardner MA School Committee Meeting of New Year

    Superintendent Mark Pellegrino praised the work of Rebecca McCaffrey, Director of Health Services for “work and dedication” on the 1-4-22 vaccine clinic.  The following officers were elected at the meeting: Elected Vice Chair – Attorney Jennifer Pelavin, Elected Finance Officer – John Lafreniere, Elected Alternate finance officers – Robert Swartz, Attorney Pelavin, Elected Secretary – Rachael Cormier. Per the City Charter, the Mayor serves as the Chairman of the School Committee. 

    The Superintendent reported a Covid 19 updated: 270 tests and thousands of KM 95 masks were received on New Year’s Day, 100 tests were distributed, and 4 staff members tested positive with the home tests.  75 cases in the district, 14 are staff and 61 students. — Building update was very brief: new Elementary School is proceeding on time and on budget. —    Watch the entire meeting on YouTube or on our Gardner MA School Committee page


  • Gardner Elementary (12/26/2021)
    Gardner Elementary School

    Gardner MA Elementary Building update

    Considerable progress is being made on the new Elementary School for Gardner MA.  The School Building Committee held a recent meeting in December. For more details, CLICK HERE

  • Gardner Schools (12/17/2021)
    Gardner MA School Covid Cases 12-16-21
    Gardner Covid 19 cases 12-3-21
    Gardner Covid 19 cases 11-19-21

    Gardner MA School Covid Cases

    Gardner Public School Covid Cases up again in 12/16/21 Bi-Weekly Dashboard to 52 positive cases after falling in the previous two weeks. See reports at left.

    Other Covid Resources:

    City of Gardner Covid 19 page (not actively updated)

    Heywood Hospital YouTube update 12-8-21

    Gardner Magazine Vaccine News page

    State of MA Covid information page

    CDC Covid Information page including information on new variants.

  • Winchendon Schools (12/16/2021)
    Covid Data for Winchendon Schools. CLICK IMAGE for larger view.

    Winchendon High School Goes Remote

    The Winchendon MA School system cites the number of positive Covid 19 cases for the return to remote learning for Murdock High School students effective now through at least after the start of the new year.  Current Covid data as of 12/13/21 shown at left.  It is unknown whether similar steps are being considered for other schools in the system if those cases also rise.

  • School Improvement (12/14/2021)
    Elementary School Principal Earl Martin

    School Strategic Objectives

    School Strategic Objectives
    CLICK IMAGE for larger view

    “Create a School where all members experience JOY, ACHIEVEMENT and CARE”

    School Vision

    School Image
    CLICK IMAGE for larger view

    Gardner MA Students are getting Smarter!

    Principal Earl Martin Highly Praised in Gardner MA School System

    Affectionately called “The Earl of Martin” by one school committee member, the Waterford Street and Elm Street School principal discussed the Gardner Elementary School Improvement Plan which seeks to make learning engaging and thought provoking, allowing students to experience JOY and actually look forward to coming to school. The plan emphasizes academic, emotional, and social achievement. School Superintendent Mark Pellegrino indicated reading scores are already way up. Principal Martin is tasked with aiding in the transition to the new Gardner Elementary School which is slated to open in the Fall of 2022.

    It was noted at the meeting that next year 10 buses may be needed instead of the current 9. Governor Baker may come out to the next vaccine clinic in January (182 were vaccinated at last clinic). Mask policy in place through January 15, 2022 and most likely will continue. Mayor Nicholson indicated Gardner will get at home antigen kits, but is uncertain of the number as of yet.

    Learning Success

    In a telephone report, Dr. Goguen reported that the Learning Walks to all 5 schools revealed a 74% increase in higher order thinking and a 37% increase in student engagement since 2018. See Math.

    Teamwork creative vision connect motivation strategy
    Extraordinary Teamwork with creative vision, strategy, and motivation yielding success in Gardner MA Public Schools

  • School Committee (12/14/2021)

    School Committee Meets

    The City of Gardner School Committee met on December 13, 2021 for about 80 minutes. Watch the complete meeting on our Gardner School Committee page. CLICK HERE

  • Math (12/13/2021)
    Gardner MA Math

    Gardner MA Math in the News

    Why Does Gardner MA recommend Eureka Math?   According to the company website linked from Gardner’s official site it’s because “Eureka Math set a new standard for rigor, coherence, and focus in the classroom so students gain a deeper understanding of the why behind the numbers, all while making math more enjoyable to learn and teach.”

    Maybe Gardner teachers are actually creating smarter students in all subjects.  At a December 13, 2021 Gardner School Committee meeting, Dr. Goguen reported on “Learning Walk” results. From 2018 to 2021, she is reporting a 74% increase in higher order thinking and a 37% increase in student engagement with a 17% increase in all categories. And we thought you’d like to know the Why behind the math.  For more information on Eureka Math, CLICK HERE


  • Gardner MA School Calendars (9/12/2021)

    Gardner Massachusetts School Calendars

    Here are some helpful links to Gardner MA School and College Calendars: Gardner High SchoolGardner AcademyGardner Middle SchoolElm Street SchoolWaterford Street SchoolHoly Family AcademyMonty-Tech – Mount Wachusett Community College: Events and Academic

  • Back – to – School Festival Gardner (7/13/2021)

    Gardner Back-to-School Festival

    The Gardner Public Schools Back-to-School Festival 2021 takes place Thursday, August 26, 2021 from 5-7pm. Join the Staff and community partners at Watkins Field as students and their families come together to ring in the new school year with music, fun, and games!. Please call (978) 632-1000 for more information or visit the Gardner Public School official Facebook page.